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Bands with strong outputs after a long history...

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Mind_Drive View Drop Down
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    Posted: July 04 2014 at 07:47
...of successful releases

although it often seems to be the case and somehow natural, that a bands output-quality declines looking back on a long history of successful releases (e.g. YES..), there are bands that still come up with very strong albums.

they surprise with very good albums that catch up with their most admired works and might even top them.

bands that come to my mind here are of course IQ but also the Flower Kings and Spocks Beard - they recently seem to have crafted albums, that show them as strong as ever (at least what one can tell by the ratings here on PA).

are there other bands, that surprised us with awesome albums although their predecessor albums maybe weren´t that much critically acclaimed? what could be the reasons for this? do lineup changes play a role here or a turn in terms of  style?

discuss (if u want)! Cool


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ExittheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2014 at 08:28
Good thread topic certainly. I guess it might be self evident that the most prolific time in a band's career is usually the early period where the creativity results from the association of kindred spirits who have found one another after a period of searching and dispensing with unsatisfactory collaboration. ELP are probably a case book study in such a phenomenon but you could make an argument that Yes, Gentle Giant and Genesis obey this trajectory to a certain extent. (ELP's juvenalia was represented by the early Nice material and that of Genesis and Yes by their gauche debuts)
However there are notable and celebrated departures from this convention e.g. Crimson started with a hurricane and descended into a soft hippy drizzle until their second wind evidenced by the Larks Tongues, Starless and Red trilogy.
I think you are correct in identifying personnel changes as pivotal to any band's longevity, relevance and quality of output. Unfortunately I'm not in a position to comment on IQ, the Flower Kings or Spock's Beard as I'm not familiar with enough of their material to evaluate the quality of their work..

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote octopus-4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2014 at 08:29
Curiosity killed a cat, Schroedinger only half.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote octopus-4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2014 at 08:30
After Crying Creatura album cover
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote octopus-4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2014 at 08:31
Ayreon The Theory Of Everything album cover
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HolyMoly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2014 at 08:31
Swans have had one heck of a comeback. Many people say their last two are their best ever.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote octopus-4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2014 at 08:32


Magma Félicité Thösz album cover

Need more? Big smile


Edited by octopus-4 - July 04 2014 at 08:35
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nogbad_The_Bad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2014 at 08:48
I'd put forward the avant bands Univers Zero, Present, Magma, Cheer-Accident, Miriodor and Thinking Plague. All these bands recent releases have been comparable to their best stuff.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ExittheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2014 at 08:53
Originally posted by Nogbad_The_Bad Nogbad_The_Bad wrote:

I'd put forward the avant bands Univers Zero, Present, Magma, Cheer-Accident, Miriodor and Thinking Plague. All these bands recent releases have been comparable to their best stuff.


OK, but I think the OP is looking for variable factors that might have an influence on quality over time e.g how long have a band been together and what personnel changes might have served to elongate or shorten  their shelf life etc?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2014 at 09:09
Pendragon is a band that springs to mind here with the critical acclaim of their last 2 albums compared to the one previous. It could be that this was at least partly due to the new drummer Scott Higham?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HackettFan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2014 at 09:25
Steve Hackett is vey prolific now and fresh. There are albums in the 90s and especially the 2000s that stand up against his 70s masterpieces. In part I think this is because of his current line-up and because of he's in charge of his own productions.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mirror Image Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2014 at 09:30
Marillion immediately springs to mind. For me, they are doing some of their best work now. Of course, you'll always have those pro-Fish or pro-Hogarth camps, but I think everything from 1985's Misplaced Childhood up until 2012's Sounds That Can't Be Made has been consistently strong. Sure there have been some weaker moments like Holidays in Eden and Radiation, but even these albums contain some great music. Anyway, I think Marillion exemplify that if you have musicians that respect, and admire, each other, then you're going to get some positive musical results.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2014 at 09:38
Originally posted by octopus-4 octopus-4 wrote:



Magma Félicité Thösz album cover

Need more? Big smile
I can't speak for Magma but I don't see how Gilmour fits in with the OP. He's not even made that many solo albums.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ExittheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2014 at 10:10
^ yep a strange one, evidence that is purportedly self evident seldom convinces. Does anyone who doesn't play the guitar give a flying f*ck about the solo output of David Gilmour?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Manuel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2014 at 10:34
Recently, there have been good releases from Camel, Steve Hackett, Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, among others.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Horizons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2014 at 10:36
Originally posted by HolyMoly HolyMoly wrote:

Swans have had one heck of a comeback. Many people say their last two are their best ever.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HolyMoly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2014 at 10:44
To elaborate on the "why", I think it has to do with a confluence of maturity with inspiration.  Maturity typically leads to conservatism, but occasionally it will result in a wild hair up one's butt and lead to some real crazyass creativity.  I think that's what's happened to Swans and Cheer-Accident, for example.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mind_Drive Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2014 at 10:44
Camel, Marillion and Swans (which i don´t knwo) are very good examples :)

Originally posted by ExittheLemming ExittheLemming wrote:

Good thread topic certainly. I guess it might be self evident that the most prolific time in a band's career is usually the early period where the creativity results from the association of kindred spirits who have found one another after a period of searching and dispensing with unsatisfactory collaboration. ELP are probably a case book study in such a phenomenon but you could make an argument that Yes, Gentle Giant and Genesis obey this trajectory to a certain extent. (ELP's juvenalia was represented by the early Nice material and that of Genesis and Yes by their gauche debuts)
However there are notable and celebrated departures from this convention e.g. Crimson started with a hurricane and descended into a soft hippy drizzle until their second wind evidenced by the Larks Tongues, Starless and Red trilogy.



thats a nice interpretation i´d subscribe!
so most bands follow this pattern in some way or another... other prove that it´s still possible to rock your head off after being around for some decades Big smile

are there bands which needed several (or more) albums to really shine?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mind_Drive Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2014 at 10:49
Originally posted by HolyMoly HolyMoly wrote:

To elaborate on the "why", I think it has to do with a confluence of maturity with inspiration.  Maturity typically leads to conservatism, but occasionally it will result in a wild hair up one's butt and lead to some real crazyass creativity.  I think that's what's happened to Swans and Cheer-Accident, for example.


Big smile this! is another awesome description of what might be a reason for the posthype-brilliance phenomenon
thanks for your creative input!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hnrz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2014 at 11:07
I guess Anathema fits, they had a bit of a lull followed by a seven year hiatus before coming back with two very highly acclaimed albums (possibly three). Many saw A Dramatic Turn of Events as a bit of a return to form for Dream Theater too (shame the recent album doesn't reach the same level).

There's also a few bands who suddenly get good after a fairly long period of being not great, such as Big Big Train or Gazpacho.


Edited by Hnrz - July 04 2014 at 11:08
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